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  1. Yesterday
  2. The hosting account renewal for DisconnectedOffroad.com is due on May 2nd. I think that I am going to opt out of renewing the hosting plan, thus ending the site. The site traffic and usage simply isn't enough anymore to keep things going. I will look into a few possible ways to save some of the content. Thank you to each and every member who made Disconnected Offroad a great place.
  3. Last week
  4. On road review of the General Grabber APT. The post On Road Review – General Grabber APT appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  5. Will check the schedule Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
  6. Bump

    The Base Camp

    Well, jokes on me. Turns out what I thought was a Red was actually a Black by Fern Ridge. Holy Fuck, some of the Blacks at AOAA are worse than Reds I've run at Rausch Creek. BTW, I posted a blog article on Recommended Lift Options for the JK. Your feedback would be most welcome.
  7. Leveling Kits (1" to 2") Teraflex 2" Leveling Kit @ $182. Includes 2" front spacers and 1" rear. Provides clearance for 33" tires and removes the downward rake of the stock front suspension. The disadvantages of this kit are a.) no increase in suspension travel/articulation, and b.) reliance on the OEM springs, which are known to sag as weight is added (i.e., armor, winch). Entry Level 2.5" Lift (fits 33-35" tires) Metalcloak 2.5" True Dual Rate Lift Kit with Fox 2.0 Shocks @ $1749. Rock Krawler also has a 2.5" Flex lift for $1435, plus around $600 for a set of Fox 2.0 shocks, but I like the Metalcloak joints and lower price. This will allow you to fit 35" tires with a.) minimal fender flare trimming, b.) replacement flat fenders, or c.) extended bump stops (small reduction in up-travel/flex). 33" tires fit with no caveats. This does not take into account other upgrades that might be needed or recommended to run 35" tires (see bottom of the page). A very complete kit with high quality, low maintenance Duroflex joints provides the best combination of value, on-pavement comfort and up to moderate-level off-road performance in it's price class. Advanced Level 2.5" - 3.5" Lift (fits up to 37" tires) Metalcloak 2.5/3.5" Game Changer with Fox 2.0 Shocks @ $2849, or Rock Krawler X-Factor 2.5/3.5 Lift Kit @ 2549 + Rock Krawler Front & Rear Bump Stops @ $140 + Fox 2.0 Shocks @ $565 (Total $3254). The 2.5" version fits up to 35" tires with the same caveats noted above, while the 3.5" version fits 35's with no fender issues or 37's with fender modifications. (Note that 35" is the maximum safe tire size on a non-Rubicon Dana 30 front axle.) The Metalcloak kit is less expensive and includes better flex joints, while the Rock Krawler kit has stronger control arms and track bars. Lift kits generally do not include steering upgrades; this is considered a separate system. But bigger tires can exert more force on stock components than they were designed to handle, and when rock-crawling, can lead to easily bent components. If you do moderate or above off-roading, I strongly recommend upgrading your ball joints, drag link and tie rod. Even for on-road driving, at 3.5" lift and above, you will need to flip your drag link to attach to the top of the knuckle to reduce bump steer, and this generally requires a new drag link. Ball Joints There's several good options here. At present, the Teraflex Heavy Duty Adjustable Ball Joints ($260) are the best combination of performance and value. But look for Synergy to come out with their own adjustable BJ's later in 2019. Drag Link & Tie Rod At 3.5" lift and above, you will need to flip your drag link to attach at the top of the knuckle to reduce bump-steer. Normally, this means drilling-out the tapered hole in the knuckle with a new taper in the opposite direction, then using a drag link with a 1-ton tie rod end to fit in the larger hole. You might think that buying a heavy-duty tie rod and drag link from your lift manufacturer is a good option. However, often you will pay more and get less than with other third-party options. Steer Smarts has some unique drag link products that allow flipping the drag link without drilling the knuckle, and also incorporates a small shock absorber in the drag link that's said to help reduce bump steer and death wobble. I don't feel the latter should be necessary on a properly set-up steering, but many people swear by it. My preference is for the Barnes4WD JK 1-Ton 7075 Aluminum Flip Steering upgrade kit @ $499. Just be careful because some steering stabilizer/hydro ram clamps might not clear your diff cover with this setup. 4.5"+ Lift Kits With 4.5" of lift you can fit 37's without fender modification, which is as big as you can safely go on the stock Rubicon axles. While I've heard of people running 4.5" lift on standard "mid-arm" control arms, my feeling is that you'll get better performance both on- and off-road with a long-arm lift. Long-arms produce flatter suspension geometry, which allows greater angles before bushings/joints bind, faster suspension reaction and a smoother ride on- and off-road. While the difference between mid-arms and long-arms are noticeable at 3.5", they really shine at 4.5" and are essential above. My choice is the Clayton Off-Road 4.5" Long Arm Kit for around $3,800. This kit uses a radius long arm front configuration, which some people feel limits cross-articulation. However, it is a relatively simple matter to remove the passenger-side upper radius arm when off-road and run it 3-linked for better flex. You will need shocks. The Fox 2.0 Adjustable Performance Remote Reservoir Shocks ($1,340) are a long-standing choice for performance and durability. But the Teraflex Falcon 3.3 Piggyback Shocks ($1,472) are gaining popularity. Both of the former offer 12.3" of travel. Bump Stops and Limiting Straps You will also need correctly-sized bumpstops (or air bumps) and limiting straps. To measure, you need to fully compress and extend the axle on one side of the Jeep, make sure you're axle and tire aren't making unwanted contact with anything and that the shock isn't fully compressed or extended, then measure how much bump stop is needed. For limiting straps, find suitable mounting points and measure the length required to prevent the shocks from full extension. Spring retaining clips are also a good idea. Prices will vary. https://metalcloak.com/universal-adjustable-bump-stop-system-1-4.html https://metalcloak.com/jk-wrangler-adjustable-bump-stops-rear-1-4.html Air Bumps (and Speed Bumps) provide a softer, progressive suspension stop to avoid jarring shock when you bottom out. They are also usually adjustable for height. https://www.quadratec.com/categories/jeep_lift_kits_suspension/bump_stops/performance-bump-stops Limit Straps https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/LIMIT.html Lower Control Arm and Track Bar Mounts Stock front lower control-arm mounts should be replaced with 1/4" thick mounts, or boxed-in with 1/8" steel plate. Weld-on control arm mini-skids are recommended. These are included in the Artec Axle Armor package recommended below, or available separately for $60.00. Both the upper and lower trackbar mounts should be upgraded or reinforced. https://www.artecindustries.com/JK_Front_LCA_Mounts https://www.synergymfg.com/synergy-mfg-jeep-jk-front-track-bar-brace.html?category_id=4055 https://www.artecindustries.com/JK_HD_Raised_Trackbar_Front Sway Bars and Links Your lift kit will come with extended sway links for the rear. JKS Quicker Disconnects are recommended for the front. Also, rear articulation might be limited by your swaybar, but disconnecting the swaybar can make a rig too unstable on the trails. A Currie anti-rock swaybars can be considered both front and rear, but you do loose some on-road stability on curves with this setup. https://jksmfg.com/i-13306776-quicker-disconnect-fits-2-5-6-0-lift-wrangler-jk.html?ref=category:326604 https://www.northridge4x4.com/part/sway-bars/ce-9900jkr4-currie-enterprises-antirock-sway-bar-kit-rear Steering Upgrades As described in the 3.5" lift section, you will need to install a heavy duty tie rod and heavy duty, flipped drag link. In addition, the upper track-bar bracket should be reinforced. Turning 37's is hard work and, when bound-up on rocks, frequently results in broken sector shafts. A PSC Hydro Assist Kit ($2251, note that there are different kits for 2007-2011 vs 2008-2018) or West Texas Off-Road Redneck Ram ($599) works wonders in beefing-up the steering. But if you stick with the stock steering box, a Sector Shaft Brace (with or without a trackbar reinforcement bracket) should definitely be installed when running 35's or larger and wheeling moderate or harder trails. Other Factors to Consider With 35" or Larger Tires The stock Dana 30 in non-Rubicon models cannot safely run 37's on most off-road terrain. The Rubicon's stock Dana 44 can safely go up to 37" tires. You may need to regear your differentials. If you have a 3.8L/Auto you definitely will want to regear for 35's. A 3.8L with a stick will probably want to regear for 35's. A 3.6L will be slower off the line, but otherwise might be bearable up to 37's. Which gear ratio to pick depends on your engine, transmission, tire size and driving style. You will need new wheels with 4.5" or less backspacing, or 1.5" wheel spacers, to avoid rubbing with 35"-37" tires. I'm not a fan of spacers, and they are illegal in some states. Axle reinforcement is strongly recommended for 35"+ tires. Adding Inner C-Knuckle Gussets ($80 plus welding) and either Sleeving ($96 plus welding) the axle or installing a Truss will help avoid bending and breakage. My preference is for the Artec JK Dana 44 Axle Armor Kit, ($319 plus welding) which includes a truss, c-gussets, upgraded trackbar bracket and lower control arm skids. Chromolly axle shafts are recommended if you do moderate difficulty or above trails. In particular, the stock rear axle shaft flanges are known to bend easily. At and above 2.5" of lift there is a chance the Rzeppa CV joint on the front (2-door and 4-door) and rear (2-door) driveshafts will fail quickly. At 3.5" the front driveshaft on all JK's, and rear driveshaft on a 2-door, should outright be replaced immediately. Adams, Carolina Driveline, J.E. Reel and Tom Woods are reliable brands. But you may be able to get a perfectly good driveshaft from a local driveline manufacturer for the same price or less, and benefit from local service if your driveshaft ever needs repairs. Finally, the stock brakes may not be sufficient to safely stop a JK on 35's, and are definitely poor for 37's. A Mopar J8 Brake Booster and Master Cylinder ($269) will provide more fluid to the calipers for higher clamping force. Then either go with upgraded pads and rotors, such as Powerstop Z36. Or upgrade to Crown Front Big Brakes ($480) and G2 Rear Big Brakes ($464) for a huge improvement in braking power. Summary As you can see, there's a lot of additional parts and cost involved as you progress from 2.5" to 3.5", and more so to properly run 4.5" or more lift. Can you skimp on things like axle reinforcement or steering upgrades? Perhaps, but my philosophy is to provide the best advice possible to support off-roading at the level implied by the tire size while still maintaining a safe and comfortable ride on the highway. The kits recommended are generally the most affordable in their class with due consideration to these parameters. It is really surprising to me that so many JK owners go with kits such as Rough Country or Zone Offroad because of the price, when the price of a superior kit from Metalcloak (or Rock Krawler) is within $100 dollars or so (often cheaper). If you want to keep things "cheap," the best thing you can do is install the minimum amount of lift necessary for your tire size, and either trim the factor fender flares or replace them with tube fenders from Crawler Concepts, Metalcloak, Poison Spyder or one of many other vendors.
  8. rmm

    The Base Camp

    I'm pretty sure we were on boulderdash when I was there. Starts with a small waterfall and then got insane fast. I'd bet you were on got the stones because I know for sure we didn't run that
  9. Is using the word motor to describe the lump under your hood wrong? The post What’s Correct – Motor or Engine? appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  10. Bump

    The Base Camp

    Last time I heard, Boulderdash had only been completed without winching by one rig. Maybe it was Got the Stones?
  11. rmm

    The Base Camp

    Yeah, Hans explained that he expected a comp rig with a good driver should be able to make it. We did exit through the gift shop and another whose name I'm blanking on. Boulderdash I think? I've never wheeled with Joe but I've got no issues with him. Planning on getting the automatic fire suppression tech that he is working on becoming a dealer for. The limited egress of the buggy has me real worried about fire
  12. Bump

    The Base Camp

    The philosophy of the guys who cut the trails is that blacks should barely be possible in a street-driven vehicle with lockers and a high risk of damage, and reds should be impossible without major damage. The red that I did I pulled up to the entrance just to take a look; nobody in the group was planning on trying it. I wish I could remember the trail number/name. Joe Semanchik was the group leader, and he just jumped out and said I could do it and started spotting me. He found me a line that worked and my tires really hooked up that day. It definitely was pucker factor 9 most of the way as several times I was just inches or degrees from a bad thing. I know a lot of NJJC members ridicule Joe, and there's no doubt he's a redneck. But that redneck knows how to pick lines. In 10 years of rock crawling I've had three or four people I would consider to be great spotters and Joe is one of the best.
  13. Earlier
  14. Saturday, April 20th, let's lock it in. Post up if you are in. 1. Mike 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
  15. This post covers installing the bungee (replaces the pole) and making a treadle. Please make sure you read the previous posts in this series. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Congratulations on making it this far, we are in the home stretch. I installed 2 eye hooks about 4 inches down from the top of the posts in the center board. The size of the eye hook should be determined by your bungee. Mine are inch and a half. I pre drilled the holes just an 1/8th of an inch smaller than the diameter of the threads. Make sure the eye hooks are installed so all the threads are in the wood. The eye hooks take a good amount of stress. I oriented the eyes so they are parallel with the floor. One of the bungees was falling out, just a bit of twine did the trick.I use 48 inch bungees. The length of the bungee corresponds with the length of the cross member. The length of the bungee is based on when no stretch has been applied. Any multiple of this length will work as well. As we are talking about bungee, you have a bit of wiggle room. I now use 4 bungees, I started with 3 bungees. The number of bungees will have an effect on how hard you have to push down on the treadle. You can install multiple bungees or have one long bungee looped through the eye hooks. I would imagine that for larger bowls, you would want more bungees to bring the wood back to a starting point. Based on how you attach the cord to the bungees, you can change the number of bungees you are using. This may help as you reduce the amount of wood. Eye hooks near the top of the post. Bungees for the spring. A little bit of string to keep then ganged together and falling out of the eye hook.To attach the cord to the bungees I use a piece of thick scrap leather. I buy scrap leather from a local arts & craft store and use it for everything other than sheaths. Leather has a bit more friction and is better at staying put on the bungee. I originally used an inexpensive carabiner, this moved around quite a bit while turning. Chain saw starter cord, on a bargain carabiner, and a piece of scrap leather wrapped around the bungee. I found that the leather has just the right friction of keep the cord where I want it.For cord I use 3/16th starter rope. Starter rope is used on lawn mowers and chain saws and so far has been very durable. The treadle needs to be durable. You will be pushing on it with your foot. I suggest that you use hard wood rather than pine. I broke my first treadle in less than a week. Mine is shaped like a triangle and attached to a board I stand on with leather hinges. I added another eye hook on the far side of the triangle with another piece of scrap pine and some screws to secure the cord. The longer your treadle, the more rotations you will get. My treadle is just over 36 inches in length, and I would make it longer if I had more room. Getting the right length for the cord is a bit of trial and error. I started by putting 3 wraps on the mandrel, and then feeding the cord through the eye hook on the treadle until the treadle was at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Test this out and adjust to what feels comfortable and gets you the rotations you want. The treadle with leather hinges. One of the few parts that is hardwood. This takes a ton of abuse. The triangular shape and two points of attachment keeps it from wandering. The leather hinges are thick leather from a bag of scraps sold at a craft store.Congratulations, you’ve built a pole lathe! I would encourage anyone looking to start turning to take a class. I would also encourage you to watch the following videos on Zed Outdoors YouTube channel. I think Zed has done a wonderful job of documenting that craft is alive and well in the UK. The first of the videos are a two part series of Sharif Adams, first video, second video, the last is of Yoav Elkayam. Sharif and Yoav are highly accomplished turners and I am hoping to meet them and take classes from both of them some day. I have hooks from Sharif, and they are great! I watch these videos, or parts of these videos regularly, most often when I’m frustrated. I’ve found encouragement and solutions for my challenges, and who couldn’t use that in their day? I would like to thank all my recent followers to the blog. I hope you find it useful and encouraging. I really have no idea what I’m doing. I just know that I enjoy learning more, and have an ego large enough to share my mistakes and a few successes along the way. If you enjoyed this little view into my greenwood journey, feel free to like, comment, and or follow. I know some people look at these posts; I would enjoy getting some feedback. View the full article
  16. rmm

    The Base Camp

    No one in our group made any of the reds the day I was out there. I don't know that I'd even attempt them again
  17. In the pantheon of cool axle tech, there is one axle that stands above the rest. Literally. Portal axles give The post What the Diff – Portal Axles Explained appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  18. Bump

    The Base Camp

    There's a public event in September to benefit autism research. I went last year and ran blues, should have chosen blacks. I think Hans errs on the side of caution when describing trail difficulty. I guess that makes sense rather than newbs fucking-up their daily driver by not asking for, or not listening to a spotter when they get in the shit. But I would genuinely be afraid of most of Hans' red trails. I've been on some shooting events. I could barely walk the trails, let alone drive it. Others though, I've managed to drive through with a good spotter, but totally destroyed my rock rails.
  19. rmm

    The Base Camp

    Hans has made it sound doable. I think this will be a really fun event, gonna do my best to go. I do wish they'd open up for wheeling that date too, but it would be hard to do without a guide.
  20. Bump

    The Base Camp

    Not that anyone here needs it, I updated my "Bump's 25 Must-Have Mods & Accessories for under $100" blog post to link on Amazon. I'm thinking of writing some new articles, too.
  21. Can't do this weekend. Thinking April.
  22. My bad 3/16 Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
  23. Anyone want to do it this Saturday 3/18? Weather looks good Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
  24. I am considering bathroom availability in planning.
  25. This might be fun. I'm in -- and will bring plenty of toilet paper. 😄
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